FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The fires in the Donnie Creek Complex continue to grow as thunderstorms roll through the region.
The Donnie Creek Complex consists of the Donnie Creek, Klua Lakes, Muskwa River, Zaremba Creek and Fontas River wildfires, as well as a fire located approximately 135 kilometres north of Fort St. John.
Paula Walbauer, a fire information officer at the Donnie Creek Complex, said crews expect thunder and lightning showers across the complex late Monday afternoon, specifically on the Donnie Creek wildfire, which is now 580,313 hectares.
Fort Nelson and the North Peace region are under a severe thunderstorm watch from Environment Canada.
“Given the vast area of this fire, the weather will vary across our landscape,” Walbauer explained.
Several areas along the fire’s edge have shown increased fire behaviour, including on the fire’s north flank.
On Monday, 60 firefighters, 13 operational field staff, six helicopters, 23 pieces of heavy equipment and 12 structure protection personnel are assigned to the Donnie Creek wildfire.
Crews are still focusing on the wildfire’s south and southwest flanks.
Walbauer said crews are working off Tommy Lakes Road to support future ignition opportunities.
Other crews will be working to mop up hotspots inside the fire’s perimeter, as well as supporting danger tree assessors. Danger trees are trees that could fall and cause damage to infrastructure or hurt people.
Crews are also working on mop-up operations in the area of the 135 and the 1000 Roads.
Structure protection personnel and heavy equipment are working northwest of Jedney Road and northeast of Tommy Lakes Road.
Due to the storms in the area, Walbauer wanted to remind residents to report wildfires using the BC Wildfire Service app, by calling 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on a cell phone.
The Peace River Regional District rescinded evacuation orders for the Donnie Creek wildfire on June 18th, but some evacuation alerts remain in place. An area restriction is also still in place around the wildfire.
The Muskwa River wildfire is being held at 21,056 hectares; the Klua Lakes wildfire grew to 42,892 hectares; the Zaremba Creek wildfire grew to 13,152 hectares; the Fontas River wildfire is now 17,128 hectares, and the fire 135 kilometres north of Fort St. John is 770 hectares.
The Tooga Creek wildfire is still around 36,445 hectares, and an evacuation alert remains for the area.
The West Kiskatinaw River wildfire is classified as being held at 25,095 hectares, and the Peavine Creek wildfire is under control at 4,427 hectares.
The area restriction around the South Peace Complex was rescinded on July 6th.
There are 38 active wildfires in the Prince George Fire Centre.
Environment Canada reissued a special air quality statement on June 20th for Fort Nelson and the North Peace region. The air quality is at a very high risk in Fort St. John in areas with smoke.
The latest information on air quality can be found on the Government of Canada’s website.
For the latest wildfire information, visit BCWS’ website.